What if…

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Characteristics of Creativity

As a child I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. Every few pages I was given a choice like “Go fight the beasts or run in the opposite direction.” I would then turn to the page corresponding to what I had chosen and find out what happened next. I suppose it was the very rudimentary precursor to video games. Perhaps I’m dating myself too much…
In any case, it was a wonderful way to consider ‘what ifs’. What if I chose to go after the buried treasure, or jump into the pirates’ ship, or crawl into the trolls’ den? Being able to explore possibilities and imagine different outcomes were the real rewards of the journey.
But at some point I turned away from imagining ‘what if’. Perhaps it happened gradually and that’s why I can’t pinpoint the moment. Somehow the ‘what ifs’ turned into real life ‘adventures’ like finding a bargain at the second-hand store, or jumping into the supermarket line-up at just the right time. Ho-hum.
And so, I’ve decided to bring back this kind of imagination into my life this week in the 4 Minute Writer section. I’ll be creating ‘what if’ stories triggered by moments I chance upon throughout the week.
Maybe I’ll see a man in strange attire and wonder “What if he’s headed to a convention of spies?”
Maybe I’ll catch an elderly lady smiling knowingly at a bird and think “What if she’s found the blue bird of happiness?”
What if creating these stories will allow me to imagine a different ‘what if’ for my real life?   
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Filed under Creativity, Writing

16 responses to “What if…

  1. What if I read every one? Great post, Zoe. I look forward to reading your what-if stories. Blessings to you…

    • Yes, something new. I’m not one for ‘unrealistic’ fiction, so let’s see what happens. An experiment. What better place to conduct it than in cyberspace.
      Thanks for coming along.

  2. Yes, you are dating yourself. . .WAY too young! Our sons used to read those things – they were brand new at the time, and so much better than video games! They required you to read, and also spurred the imagination on to write your own “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories! And it certainly did – look what happened to you, Zoë!

    • Thanks for making me feel youngish 🙂 I should go to the library and see if I can track down some old Choose Your Own Adventures. They should make them for adults too. Now there’s an idea!…

  3. “She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
    I said ‘Be careful his bowtie is really a camera'”
    – “America” Simon and Garfunkel lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/simon+and+garfunkel/america_20124598.html

  4. What fun!
    Susan Jeffers was the first one to open my eyes to choices and how much fun they could be. I’m raking the corners of my mind, but didn’t she liken choices to different flavours, blueberry or strawberry or raspberry? By taking a dogs leg and choosing a different path we change our life experience and try a different flavour.
    Hope you enjoy this week of adventure, Zoe 🙂

    • Thanks! Yes, the world is full of possibilities. Somehow I feel that as we get older we limit ourselves. Then again, it’s probably because we get comfortable- which isn’t bad; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why search for something you already have?

  5. V

    I never did like those types of books, because it made me always second guess myself…. “did I choose the best alternative”? to find out at times I didn’t…. and that sucked. In fact, what really made me dislike those books was that all of the choices sucked. I didn’t like any of the choices and so lost complete interest in that style of book. The endings were just not good enough…. huh…interesting.

    To each his own.

    • I do seem to recall that most of the endings did involve bad things happening, with only once in a while a ‘happily ever after’ thrown in. I think the challenge for me was making the story go on for as long as I could before hitting the end. I liked going back and finding out where the alternative would have led too. And I liked fighting those mythical creatures.
      Yes, to each his own, so true.

  6. I love your ‘convention of spies’ thought – as always, your post inspires me and makes me think differently. A progressive post to ‘create your own adventure’ would be interesting…

    • Here’s a weird thing- after I posted the ‘Thinking Something Different’ entry, I saw your comment on thinking differently. How does that work?
      The internet is a weird and wonderful place…
      “A progressive post to create your own adventure”- so, experimenting with making decisions to create adventures in real life- is that what you meant? I like it! I’ve written it down as a Theme of the Week for two or three weeks from now (depending how things work out). A way for blog and life to intersect. What a creative idea- thank you!!! I’d be interested to see what adventures you would go on too 🙂

      • It’s certainly is a weird and wonderful place – Gabrielle Bryden and I had a similar moment with our posts crossing over a few weeks ago. Makes me think there might be something in Dawkins’s memetics theory… I look forward to taking part in your progressive adventure exercise if you decide to post it. My exam will be over by then – supposed to be studying now, but here I am, reading your blog 🙂

      • I am excited about your idea. I plan to make the week of the 29th the Creating Adventures week for the Theme section. What will happen? Guess we’ll find out. Will be fun to exchange stories. Maybe we’ll run into some memes…
        Studying can be hard to ‘get around’ to doing- don’t let me distract you, though 🙂 All the best on your exam.

  7. Pingback: Desk Daydreams (inspired by the 4minutewriter) « beeblu blog

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